Human Resources, Culture

Marketing and Human Resources: A Natural Partnership

Mike Bensi
March 2, 2017

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A recent study in Bersin by Deloitte noted employee engagement as one of the top issues on the minds of CEOs and business leaders. While it may be on the minds of company leadership, the task typically falls on human resources.

And for many HR professionals, the struggle is real. In fact, 60% of job seekers said they had a poor experience as a candidate, and over 70% shared their experience on an online employer-review site, such as If you Google employee engagement, you will find numerous articles noting consistently low numbers in workplace engagement. Candidates and employees are expecting more from their experience than human resources and companies can currently deliver.  

It's clear that HR needs help. Luckily, help is just around the corner. Say hello to marketing! From branding to company culture and strategy, Marketing and HR can partner to drive your organization's success. And while these teams seem completely different, they have more in common than you think.

There is a lot on your plate

As Tim Kopp, Managing Partner at Hyde Park Ventures, notes in his latest blog, marketing has grown to encompass multiple specialties, including brand, product, strategy, and even culture. Similarly, HR is tasked with multiple facets of an organization that also include brand, culture, and strategy—on top of payroll, compensation, and benefits management.

It’s important to realize that one person can’t do it all. If you’re in human resources, you should remember these two tips:

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. You may be great at connecting with your people internally, but stumble on communication to the broader organization.
  2. Clarify your priorities and responsibilities. Identify where you need help from your Marketing Team to accomplish your objectives.

You have the same goals

Simply put, human resources and marketing are both in place to meet people's needs. What most companies fail to recognize is the relationship between a business and its consumers is directly related to the relationship between a business and its employees. Your competition can replicate your technology, products, and services, but they can’t copy your culture. Your primary marketing target should be your internal customers—your employees.

Brand matters

CMOs monitor brand image and company reputation in public forums. Likewise, HR must monitor public commentary about their organizations as employers. Negative public commentary—internal or external—about poor work environments, lack of community involvement, and poor customer service repels top talent away from an organization.

It’s not about the “fluffy stuff” anymore

For many years, HR was the soft side of the business. Today it's critical to step away from this image and become more focused on measuring results impacting the business. Ten years ago, marketing was where HR is now, using intuition, rather than data-based foresight to guide big decisions. They “datafied” their processes and it’s time for HR to do the same.

Bottom line: It’s time to align your HR and Marketing Teams to boost your business value. Once you recognize how closely aligned both teams are, the possibilities to partner and create an amazing employee experience will be endless.

Modern HR and Rise CM&HRO